An Unrecognized Mom Hero
I don't often review books on Mom Invented®, but this time I just had to acknowledge the brilliant work of historian and author Autumn Stanley. In her new book, Raising More Hell and Fewer Dahlias: The Public Life of Charlotte Smith (1840-1917), I was stunned to learn about an absolutely extraordinary woman -- Charlotte Smith -- who made significant contributions to our country, yet was never mentioned throughout my entire education!
Smith was an amazing woman, especially given the time period -- the late 19th and early 20th century. A single mother supporting two children alone and with only a grade school education, she tirelessly advocated for working women, women inventors, and the poor or less fortunate. She also worked for public health and safety, demanding basic things we take for granted today, like ingredient lists on product labels. By 1891 she was already credited for fifty bills passed by Congress. These achievements and many more make Smith’s omission from American history shocking, if not tragic. I was touched by her journey and reminded of what a difference a single person can make in spite of her life circumstances.
A note about the author:
Autumn Stanley is an independent scholar in the history of technology and women's history with a particular passion for uncovering women’s contributions. She is also the author of Mothers and Daughters of Invention, where she showed that despite being inventive throughout history, women seldom received credit, with their husbands' or lawyers' names often taking the place of their own. Mothers and Daughters of Invention is what inspired me to put the photograph of the mom inventor on our trademarked Mom Invented® packaging.
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